Departed from my friend's home north of Boston. She looks out onto Atlantic Ocean. I perform the cross country prescribed ritual...dipping my rear wheel into the Atlantic with hope the bike spirits ride with me to dip the front into the Pacific. Ride to Charlestown where I honor the Sweetser clan with a dip of the wheel into the Mystic River. Blackie points out Seth's farm...or not...it's become an industrial and wharf zone.
Blackie points to Seth's farm. He's not yet convinced though.
I stop for Sunday services where subject is "God the Preserver of Man"...The Lord guards you....The Lord will protect you from all dangers; he will guard your life. Psalms 121:5 A pretty good send off really. Blackie keeps an eye on gear on the Christian Science Plaza while I go inside.
Blackie's a good guard. Who's going to mess with a North Carolina black bear in the city.
Leaving out of Boston. Follow south side of Charles River on greenway through wonderful wildlife sanctuary and conservation areas. A little messy ( traffic) around Waltham as I leave river to head toward Worcester. I am traveling this first week with a friend from Brooklyn, Greg. Since I could never pronounce Worcester correctly, we head to West Boylston and a motel so Robbie doesn't disgrace the South. I had tried to connect with a WarmShowers host in Worcester but they were not home. I need to plan ahead for the weekends.
Creative Boston photo
Trail out of Boston
Second day to Northampton (Smith College). Early morning and late afternoon found more rail-to-trail routes with gorgeous bogs and rivers. The rivers run dark as tea, just like the low country of South Carolina...lots of tannins. Great Blue Heron, frogs singing, dozens of dragonflies circling, blooming lilies, bright green water grass. Take chance with last moment contact with local WarmShowers host...they graciously tell us to come on. Brett and Jenny, unicycle jugglers, twin girls two years old, love to throw balls and play with wet strangers. Just as we left downtown Northampton, a menacing, dark cloud rained down. That's okay. Tomorrow is kit change-out day anyway.
Massachusetts roads have wide shoulders. Good riding. Greenways are even better. Old train grades bypass the rolling hills as we approach the northern Appalachians. These trails are wonderfully tree lined and shaded. Frequently follow rivers. Easy grades. Amazing the beauty where these rail lines were placed a century and a half ago. Massachusetts is working on connecting some of these old rail grades to be able to cross the state continually. Lots of fellow bicyclists, joggers, walkers, baby strollers, fishers. Last section of today's trail enters directly into central Northampton. Plenty of restaurants to choose from. We're happy campers...sleeping in bed offered by young family.
Rail-to-Trail Massachusetts style